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Old 12-22-2013, 12:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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35 grand for 18 panels?!?!?!?!?
"Silly-cone" co$ts more in Hawaii.

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Old 12-22-2013, 01:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Hawai'ian electric generation has always seemed really strange to me: they ship in fossil fuel to run generators when they're quite literally sitting on top of what's probably the second biggest (after Iceland), if not the biggest, geothermal resource on Earth? Meanwhile the geothermal plants at the piddling little hot spring up the road from me have been cranking out ~100 MWatts for decades...
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Old 12-22-2013, 05:26 PM   #13 (permalink)
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jamesqf, exactly!!!!

Im just glad my energy usage isnt tiered. I use to work for a bank and saw a lot of power bills for folks. Some had a flat rate, but many were tiered and I could see where a small solar array with a grid tie inverter could help to offset their usage and really rack up the savings fast by keeping them under a previous or even the first tier. Of course the biggest savings would come from better usage and a hot water heater timer.
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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+1 on using Pele's HEAT to power steam-powered turbine power generators!
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Old 12-23-2013, 05:25 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Of course to get at the Geothermal energy requires (wait for it) Fracking.

And Renewables are not working out well for Germany, the new government is looking to cut back on subsidies and they are building more coal plants.

We've had this discussion before but there is a big misunderstanding by a lot of folks (not on here obviously), especially those "in charge" that see the "grid" as some big magic power wharehouse. You can put energy in and it somehow stays there until someone wants it out.

If that was true (large scale grid storage) then that would be wonderful but it isn't on any large enough scale. Which is why individuals (and in the UK government funded big corporations) buy Petrol or Diesel generators for when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow.
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Old 12-23-2013, 07:45 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Germany also decided to close all nuclear installations. And they are right about cutting back subsidies; they were quite high, and with the price of solar panels gradually dropping they don't need to be.

The biggest problem in Germany is the law that solar and wind power must be used no matter what. A storm can put the grid under stress because the wind farms in the north then outproduce local need big time.
It would be way more sensible and economical to either shut some of them off or increase the blade angle on all of them to slow them down; that would also reduce wear and maintenance needs.

The same could be done with solar; simply hook them up with a device controlled by the grid owner that reduces or prevents delivery to the grid when it cannot use it. In that way the grid owner could create a buffer capacity to quickly adapt to changing production or demand.
In an ideal world... Ah well.
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Old 12-23-2013, 09:32 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm just not a fan of them using their monopoly as a power delivery company to maintain their monopoly as a power generating company.
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Old 12-23-2013, 09:52 AM   #18 (permalink)
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So what do you do with excess power even during the times when the company says they can't accept it? I think you still need local storage options (or use it to cool some thermal mass?) and your generation capabilities need to be "right sized", or even undersized. You can't really expect a company to invest in infrastructure that makes it easier to lose customers or turns them into a customer, with a peaky supply. A government entity on the other hand...
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Old 12-23-2013, 09:56 AM   #19 (permalink)
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We are going OT from the original subject of personal panels but...

Germany decided to shut off it's nuclear plants in response to the incident in Japan. A very blinkered approach as nobody died from the nuclear accident in Japan. They have switched to using coal which is the most dangerous and dirtiest form of energy available.

Genius!

I think that decision will become more "elastic" over time.

A better approach for Solar Panel owners would be to simply allow them to use the panel power they generate to reduce what they themselves draw from the grid and not allow them to feed back into it. This could be done easily, remove the subsidy. If a panel owner can save enough to cover the cost they win, otherwise only they lose - it becomes their risk and not one others have to cover. And the grid becomes more stable.

The underlying assumption behing renewables is that the alternatives would become increasingly scarce and more expensive resulting in the cost of renewables starting to match those of gas or nuclear. This simply hasn't happened and there is no sign of it happening in the near or medium future. As for the long term nobody knows and the technology of today's renewables would be dead anyway.

Also what abut land use for large scale energy production, you know for factories, shops, offices, towns, the technology we are all using just now...

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Old 12-23-2013, 11:04 AM   #20 (permalink)
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AC power cannot be "stored" but DC power can. So, the problem (or solution) actually depends upon the source!

• When the power comes from solar panels, it's DC, which is usually "captured" in batteries, THEN converted to AC which THEN must be synchronized with the grid "phase" before it can be exported onto the grid.

Interestingly, power companies are fighting a "lagging" POWER FACTOR (PF less than one) most of the time due to the predominance of inductive reactance (XL) due to motors' winding inductance. However, MOST DC-to-AC convertors have a "leading" power factor (due to capacitors) and thus actually HELP the power companies "balance-out" a lot of their PF problem(s).

• When the power comes from AC generator systems, such as in wave-action and wind-farm generators, it starts out as AC, then is converted to DC, which is then reconverted back into AC (to match grid "phasing"), which AGAIN helps the power companies with their lagging PF problem.

The PROBLEM with either arrangement is that the power company(s) have NO inherent control over when or how much power is being pushed back onto to the grid from the customers, and they do NOT have control over the PF-balancing aspects of all those different customer sourced semi-capacitive PF sources. In effect, the DOG (power company) is being SHAKEN by the TAIL (customers).


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